Local News

Spring Lake man charged with human trafficking

Posted March 18, 2015
Updated March 19, 2015

— A Spring Lake man is facing multiple charges after a woman said he confined her to his basement and forced her to have sex with strangers for money.

Robin Triovel Applewhite, 38, of the 300 block of Cedarwood Street, was charged Wednesday with human trafficking, second-degree kidnapping and sexual servitude, according to Spring Lake police.

Investigators said Applewhite picked up the woman in Fayetteville and took her back to his home, where he allegedly gave her illegal drugs and locked her in the basement along with two other women.

For several days, the woman was taken to hotels in Charlotte and Raleigh and forced to have sex for money, investigators said. She then was taken back to the home and locked in the basement.

Investigators said the woman managed to escape early Wednesday by prying open the basement door. She ran until she reached the main gate at Fort Bragg. Military police contacted Fayetteville police investigators, who turned the case over to Spring Lake detectives.

"If you were to visit the house, look at the house, the average person would probably not be aware that any of this was going on at the home," said Police Chief Troy McDuffie.

Applewhite was arrested at 10 a.m. Wednesday at his home, where detectives said they found two other women in their 20s living in the basement. A handgun also was seized from the home.

"The basement was set up just like a living quarters," McDuffie said. "There were two rooms inside of the basement and there was a general area where they watched television."

Applewhite was originally held at the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond, but his bond was increased to $1.5 million after his first court appearance on Thursday.

Police said additional charges are expected.


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  • Sean Coates Mar 19, 2015
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    Sounds like the woman wanted to do this and was unhappy with the pay and turned on their boss

  • Jake Goode Mar 19, 2015
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    Horrible, just makes you sick. Hard to believe things like this happen but they do everyday. Side note the person that wrote the article probably should have watched the video to get more information. That's also sickening, WRAL you often leave out important details that the public needs and spew fourth details that can be left out. You guys should really work on that. While I don't feel this article necessarily leaves out important information, it is just a good example of a lack of effort.

  • Jenna Brutegrrl Mar 19, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    What part of Africa are you originally from, Brian? Sounds like you're from a pretty rough neighborhood.

  • Dearth Lives Mar 19, 2015
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    If the one got out , why did the other two not escape as well?

  • Derric Fuller Mar 19, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    What has Africa got to do with this story? This barely makes news in America. The Fayetteville area is rife with human trafficking and no one cares, especially if it doesn't happen them or someone they claim to care about.

  • Bernadette Dan Unger Mar 18, 2015
    user avatar

    Bet your momma is proud of you.